Northern Netherlands leader in breakthrough technology Digital Twins

News | November 14, 2019

Led by the University of Groningen a large number of companies and knowledge institutions are working together on Digital Twins. These are digital copies of physical products and production processes with unprecedented possibilities. According to the experts, this technology has Nobel Prize potential.

The companies from the Region of Smart Factory consortium and the Fieldlab Technologies Added in Emmen will test and roll out the technology. The project will receive 4 million euros from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). The participating companies, including Philips in Drachten, will jointly contribute another 1.6 million euros.

Within the program six universities (RUG, TU/e, TU Delft, Twente, Leiden and Tilburg) work together with twelve industrial partners and knowledge organizations from the high-tech, metal and composite industries. These are companies that are important to the Dutch economy, such as ASML, VDL, Tata Steel, Philips and Océ. Initiators Bayu Jayawardhana and Jan Post, both professors at the University of Groningen, lead the project and can appoint 19 researchers.

Digital Twin

DIGITAL TWIN stands for Integration of Data-drIven and model-based enGIneering in fuTure industrial Technology With value chaIn optimizatioN. High-tech systems are becoming increasingly complex and increasingly difficult to design, produce and maintain. The DIGITAL TWIN program develops methods for turning these types of systems into digital twins: virtual software versions with which you can perform simulations to predict, for example, how changes in the design will affect performance, or which part will need maintenance at what time. Digital twins are currently mostly based on static theoretical models based on normal behaviour. By linking these models to measurement data that indicate how the system actually functions and combining this data with artificial intelligence, the researchers make digital copies that continuously improve and adapt themselves.

The program integrates theoretical mechanical engineering, software engineering, systems and control techniques and artificial intelligence. This results in digital twins that are more accurate and realistic, which are suitable for accelerating 'time-to-market', realizing error-free production in smart and flexible factories and smart maintenance of high-tech systems. With two 'demonstrators', the project will make the benefits of digital twins accessible to a wide audience.


Read more about Digital Twins.

look at the video about the programs of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.